Internet bank ING Direct has launched a Web 2.0-enabled 'We the Savers' microsite as part of a new media campaign encouraging US consumers to save and invest.
The "We the Savers" campaign lets participants use savings calculators, online forums and social networking and instant messaging icons.
Visitors to the micro-site are encouraged to sign an online "Declaration of Financial Independence", participate in polls, download widgets to their personal pages and see how their home state is doing versus the rest of the country.
The campaign launches the day after Thanksgiving, known as 'Black Friday' - historically a major consumer spending rush. The bank has also published the results of a poll showing half of Americans actually plan to spend the same if not more on holiday gifts compared to last year despite the economic gloom.
However, 36% aim to start saving money as a resolution after the holidays while another 27% hope to eliminate their credit card debt.
Savings accounts, stocks, and bonds were once popular holiday gifts, but more than half of those surveyed now feel neither comfortable nor able to give these investment-based gifts to friends and family members, says the bank.
Arkadi Kuhlmann, CEO, ING Direct USA, says: "With ING Direct's online tools, savers can see the real advantages of saving and pass along the knowledge to people in their online networks. Since reversing long-term spending habits can be difficult, ING Direct has made saving as straightforward and informative as possible for new savers and investors."
The micro-site was quietly released on the www.wethesavers.com url in early October and has so far amassed almost ten thousand signatures.